DILG tells PNP to identify, sue perpetrators of fake news on kidnappings online

Robie de Guzman   •   December 17, 2019   •   402

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) to identify and file charges against those behind the online postings of fake news and videos of purported abduction of individuals, especially minors, for organ harvesting.

Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, spokesperson for the DILG, said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año issued the directive amid investigation on the recent series of viral videos of separate alleged kidnappings of minors in Bulacan and Cavite.

Malaya said the PNP has confirmed that the latest viral video posted on Facebook of the supposed kidnapping of a 10-year old boy in Bulacan was fake.

He cited the result of Cyber Patrolling and Open Source Investigation of PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG), which found that no recent abduction transpired using a white van nor were there reported series of abductions lodged in police stations and news networks.

The alleged abductions of unidentified persons using a white van has been circulating in social media platforms as early as 2016 but were found to be a hoax.

He added that based on the PNP’s assessment of social media platforms, some individuals have capitalized viral news on alleged kidnappings to gain more likes, shares, comments and interactions from their Facebook followers for profit.

“There are unscrupulous people on social media who are doing staged videos of alleged abductions to sow fear among the people and to earn money,” Malaya said in a statement.

“We wish to remind the public that the perpetrators of fake news earn money from your likes, shares and comments. We understand that you think you are only warning your loved ones but you are also unintentionally spreading fear. Let us not embolden these people any longer,” he added.

The DILG official asked the public to be wary of fake news online and not to be quick in liking or sharing “unfounded and baseless videos.”

“If you have no personal knowledge of an alleged abduction or you are not sure of the source, we ask the public not to share or like it.” he said.

Malaya also urged the public to help suppress the spread of fake news online by immediately reporting the post, especially those may cause undue alarm and panic to the public, to the PNP-ACG hotlines 09985988116; Tel: +63 (02) 414-1560 and Fax: +63 (02) 414-2199.

Only 8 barangays in Tagaytay under mandatory evacuation, DILG clarifies

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 21, 2020

The Department of the Inteior and Local Government (DILG) has clarified that only eight barangays are covered by the mandatory evacuation.

In a statement, the DILG said the order to implement a mandatory evacuation in eight barangays in Tagaytay City is based on the recommendation of the Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).

“Both the DILG and NDRRMC acted upon the strong representations of the PHIVOLCS that these barangays are susceptible to volcanic tsunami, ballistic projectiles, and base surge. So, as early as Monday, we already issued the mandatory evacuation order,” said DILG undersecretary and spokesperson, Jonathan Malaya.

The eight barangays from Tagaytay are Bagong Tubig, Kaybagal South (Pob)., Maharlika West, Sambong, San Jose, Silang Junction South, Maharlika East, and Tolentino East.

“We are not the scientific experts here, its the DOST. So, until and unless PHIVOLCS removes these eight barangays from the list of susceptible barangays, the DILG has no choice but to insist that mandatory evacuation should be implemented immediately,” he added.

Malaya reiterated that the mandatory evacuation does not cover all barangays in Tagaytay City. He also said that business establishments in other areas in city may continue their operation.—AAC

98% of residents in 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated —DILG

Maris Federez   •   January 20, 2020

Sylvestre Barba (C) listens to a radio inside an evacuation center for citizens affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano in Santo Tomas, Batangas, Philippines, 15 January 2020. EPA-EFE/MARK CRISTINO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced that authorities have evacuated almost all of the residents in the 14-kilometer radius danger zone of the Taal Volcano.

DILG Sec. Eduardo Año said they have already evacuated 98-percent of the residents as evacuation measures are still being done for those who have yet to respond to the government’s call to leave their homes.

Año thanked the police, military and other law enforcement agency personnel for maintaining order in the affected areas in lockdown and where total evacuation is being implemented.

The official also said that they have yet to receive reports of looting and that zero-casualty is being maintained in the affected areas of the Taal eruption.

“The three cases reported in media were mainly due to the pre-existing medical condition and not directly related to the eruption,” Año said. — (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

DILG: Business establishments in Tagaytay City still not allowed to operate

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said business establishments in Tagaytay City are still not allowed to operate due to the level 4 alert status in the Taal region.

The DILG said establishment who are caught operating within the 14-kilometer danger zone of the Taal volcano might have their business permit revoked or suspended.

“No commercial establishments until or unless this issue of alert level 4 has been downgraded,” according to DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing.

Densing also said that the DILG might coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to close establishments proven to be operating within the 14-kilometer danger zone.

Tourists are also discouraged to visit Tagaytay City.

“We are discouraging, actually, tourists or locals to go up to Tagaytay kasi nasa alert level 4. Mamaya pag-akyat nila baka sumabog, makakadagdag pa sila sa tutulungan o poprotektahan (because it is in alert level 4. It [volcano] might erupt and the tourist might be added to the people needed to be rescued),” he said.

READ: Danger remains as volcanic activities increase in Taal

Meanwhile, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHOVOLCS) said they cannot just lift or downgrade Alert Level 4 due to the possibility of a massive explosive eruption within hours or days remains high .—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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